Thus conscience doth makes cowards of us

Posted on September 29th, 2008

Thanks to everyone for your additions to our list of ad movies. Here are a few favourites (i.e. ones I could find pictures for)

Noting in Common

Nothing In Common

"i think bosom buddies and the big creative pitch scene from this movie did more to direct me toward a career in advertising than anything else"     -Scott R

By far the most popular suggestion, though I've never seen it. Somehow the story of a creative estranged from his parent never struck me as escapist entertainment...

Melrose Place

Melrose Place


Umm, I'm gonna have to plead ignorance on this one, Angela. Never saw it. Though I did have a much-ogled poster of Heather Locklear.



"Derailed."     -Geoff B

Really? I actually saw this and didn't recall Owen worked at an agency. I might have been distracted by Jennifer Aniston's utter failure to convincingly play a femme fatale. She's no Angelina, as Brad well knows.

How to lose a guy

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

"no lone wolf here. they show account people and creative teams. the ad's cool and the writer's a nerd just like real life."     -Karen K

Guilty as charged, but you're wrong in assuming the two are mutually exclusive. Of course, a nerd would say that.

Planes Tranes and Automobiles

Planes, Trains And Automobiles

"Steve Martin is an ad guy. Movie opens on client presentation. End of movie cuts to client, days later, still can't decide between concepts."    -Brent M

Great movie. I saw it again recently and was surprised to notice that Owen ("Her first baby come out sideways. She didn't scream or nothing") was played by Dylan Baker.

Advertising Rules

Advertising Rules!

"There's a great German admovie called Advertising Rules. It follows a young advertising hopeful as he tries to break into the ad industry in Germany. He ends up selling out his love for a job. Good stuff!"    -Steve Z

The "trailer" I found for this had a two-minute pre-roll for a Jet Li film, followed by exactly four seconds of the Advertising Rules! trailer. I assumed it had to be a glitch, but found a second one that did the same thing. Weird.

Lost in Translation

Lost In Translation

"Not about agency life per se, but the whiskey shoot where Bill Murray takes direction via a selective translator is classic."    -Kashif K

Totally. The photo session is fun, too.

Rodger Dodger

Roger Dodger

"A copywriter so cynical and self-assured he barely registers as a human being tries to apply his slick ad patter to the meat market."    -Paula N

Yeah, well, we all know how well that works.

Kramer vs Kramer

Kramer vs. Kramer

"The opening scene where he's working late, feet up and shooting the shit when he should have gone home hours ago... is straight out of my life."    -Kyle A

I sincerely hope the rest of the movie is not. The bit where he demands an interviewer hire him on the spot or never makes me wince. Great drama but I'm not sure I see that working in real life.

Ned and Stacey

Ned And Stacey

"It mostly stunk but the fake ads were funny sometimes. There was one with a screaming skull that really cracked me up."    -Danny L

Couldn't find that. Found this. While searching for it, I also found this, which I honestly have no idea what to make of.



'Ad exec' signs big Airline as a client. When his flight is delayed, he swaps tickets with another guy... The plane goes down... Ben has to do 'feel-good' ad campaign for Airline client. He wins a Clio for his work, but is totally wracked with guilt and gives a funny."    -Kirsten P

Gives a funny what? Gift? Backrub? Suicide note? Or is that just common slang in Kirsten's native South Africa? "Ag man, that doos was so kak wracked with guilt I thought he'd give a funny."

Kirsten wrote back:

"I meant to say 'funny acceptance speech' - but I think I stopped writing because I realised it actually wasn't that funny after all. Just drunken and tearful. Come to think of it, a funny backrub or suicide note may have just been the plot twist the movie needed."

Finally, here's a comprehensive list of movies about advertising that would have saved me a hell of a lot of time last week.


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